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Descriptions of Registered Cultivars 
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Anigozanthos 'Red Cross'

ORIGIN: Anigozanthos 'Red Cross' is a manipulated hybrid between A. rufus female and A. flavidus male. The cross was performed by Dr S D Hopper of the Western Australian Wildlife Research Station. The cultivar was first received by the Authority in August 1979. Registration applied for by Dr S D Hopper of Western Australia.

DESCRIPTION: This cultivar is a vigorous plant with flowering scapes to 1.6m tall. The flowering stems are multi-branched, thin and tend to spread as broad as they are high. Up to 7600 individual flowers have been recorded for a mature plant of the cultivar, and they are a rich burgundy in colour. This colour is produced by the dense covering of plumose hairs on the flowers and much of the flowering stem, fading in colour and intensity as they reach lower down the stem. The flowers have a bright yellow green patch of colour near the pedicel. Individual flowers are up to 30cm long by ca. 8mm wide at the widest point of the corolla. The corolla tube is terminated by six perianth lobes which taper to a point. These lobes are reflexed when the flower is fully opened. Inside the perianth segments are yellow green as are the stamens. The stamens are more or less as long as the perianth tube. Leaf like bracts occur frequently on the flowering stem and regularly reach 30cm long. The foliage is also vigorous with leaves from 36 to 60cm long by 10 to 40mm wide.

DIAGNOSIS: Anigozanthos 'Red Cross' shows the vigour and longevity of A. flavidus. The flowers have the rich colouring of A. rufus. The cultivar is larger than the maternal parent but does not reach the proportions of a well-grown plant of A. flavidus. The anthers are yellow green as are those of all the A. flavidus hybrids, the orange anthers of A. flavidus being recessive.There are two other cultivars that arise from this cross, Anigozanthos 'Harmony' and Anigozanthos 'Unity'. The quickest and easiest distinguishing feature is that Anigozanthos 'Red Cross' has a very distinct yellow patch at the base of the flower. Anigozanthos 'Velvet Harmony' is a much deeper colour while Anigozanthos 'Unity' has larger flowers, to 40mm long as compared to 30mm for A. 'Red Cross'.

CULTIVATION NOTES: The hybridisation work was deliberately undertaken to produce plants with the longevity, vigour, snail resistance and resistance to Ink Disease displayed by A. flavidus but with the more popular colour of A. rufus. It was also done to increase the percentage germination of seed, which can be low on species other than A. flavidus. Offspring from the original cross showed varying degrees of resistance to snail and fungal attack. The percentage of seed set of the hybrid was low. The difference in susceptibility to disease etc. of the offspring allows diversity for selective breeding in the future. This cultivar is free flowering. Vegetative means of propagation must be used to ensure retention of the cultivar form. Methods of in vitro propagation of this cultivar can be found in 'HortScience" 13 (6) December 1978 pages 662-663; "Journal of Horticultural Science" (1981) 56 (2) pages 181-183; "Growing Native Plants" produced by the Australian National Botanic Gardens volume 8 pages 184-185.

PREVIOUS PUBLICATION: As A. rufus x A. flavidus in "Australian Plants", the journal of the Society for Growing Australian Plants, volume 10 number 81 page 200 (illustration) and pages 211-217.

COLOUR CODE: RHS Colour Chart 1966.

plumose hairs: red purple group 59A

inside perianth: greyed green group 190A

anthers: yellow group 13B

filaments: yellow green group 145B